As a society, we seem to have mixed feelings about whether it’s better to add or subtract things, advising both that “less is more” and “bigger is better.” But these contradictory views play out across multibillion-dollar industries, with people salivating over the latest features of their hardware and software before bemoaning that the added complexities make the product difficult to use.
A team of researchers from the University of Virginia decided to look at the behavior underlying this tension, finding in a new paper that most people defaulted to assuming that the best way of handling a problem is to add new features. While it was easy to overcome this tendency with some simple nudges, the researchers suggest that this thought process may underlie some of the growing complexity of the modern world.
I had to look up the source, but I have long loved the saying:
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
The article caught my attention because of the Swiss Army Knife in the cover photo. I like the more minimalist SAKs to be honest anyway.